Green, Leslie H., enlisted record





Last Name, First Name, Middle Initial: GREEN, LESLIE H. This was typed over and is difficult to read.


GRADE: CPL 1 JUN 46 [There was a story, either from him or someone else, that his promotion to corporal was revoked. That’s not what this document says.]

ARM OF SERVICE: MD. I do not know what this means.

COMPONENT: AUS [Army of the United States]

ORGANIZATION: EM 1 DET 1976 SCO [IDK what this means]




DATE OF BIRTH: 22 DEC 46 [This is, er, incorrect]






NO. DEPENDS: 1 [If he’s not counting himself, I have no idea to whom this might be referring.]







DATE OF ENLISTMENT: [blank, as it usually is when someone is drafted]


PLACE OF ENTRY INTO SERVICE: SYRACUSE NY [place of induction center]




Home Address at time of entry into Service: SEE 9

Military Occupation and No. SURGICAL TECH 861

Performs a variety of nonprofessional surgical and medical duties in rendering surgical care and treatment to patients.

Prepares operating room and surgical equipment for use, cleaning and washing equipment, and sterilizing linen, equipment, and instruments. Assists operating personnel, preparing patient for operation, assisting in the administration of hypodermic injections and anesthetics, and handing instruments and materials to surgeon.

Assists in transporting patients to and from operating rooms, gives first aid treatment, changes dressings and bandages, treats minor injuries such as cuts, bruises, and boils, and performs other duties in the preoperative and postoperative care and treatment of surgical cases.

Military Qualifications and Date: M 1 RIFLE MKM [marksman]

Battles and Campaigns: NONE

Decorations and Citations: ARMY OF OCCUPATION MEDAL [awarded for military service of thirty or more consecutive days of duty in one of the occupied territories after World War II.; WORLD WAR II VICTORY MEDAL

Wounds Received in Action: NONE

Latest Immunization Dates: Smallpox OCT 46, Typhoid OCT 46, Tetanus  OCT 46, Other- none

Service Outside Continental U.S. and Return. Date of Departure [Date ship left loading port] 10 FEB 46. Destination: ETO [European Theater of Operations]. Arrive [Date ship arrived at port of destination] 19 FEB 46. Date of Departure: 22 OCT 46. Destination: USA. Arrive: 10 NOV 46

Total Length of Service, 0 Years, 10 Months, 6 Days for Continental Service. 0 Years, 9 Months, 10 Days for Foreign Service

Highest Grade Held: CPL

Prior Service: NONE

Reason and Authority For Separation: AR 615 – 365 RR 1-1 [Demobilization, is the Army Regulation concerning Army forces reduction after the war.]

Service Schools Attended: NONE

Education (Years):  8 Grammar, 3 1/2 High School, 0 College


Longevity For Pay Purposes: 1 year, 7 months, 16 days

Mustering out Pay: $300

Soldiers Deposits: $100

Travel Pay: $12.65 [amount received to get home]

Total Amount, Name of Disbursing Officer: $271.65, JM BARRETTE, LT COL FD

Insurance Data: 130.12 [very difficult to read except for $6.40 monthly premium]

Right Thumb Print

Remarks Lapel Button Issued. 12 days lost under AM 107 (?), ASR Score 2, SEP 45. [ASR is the number of ‘points’ earned determined when a soldier is shipped home.]

Recommended for further military training. {But this never happened.]

I wanted to get more details about his actions in Europe. However, a fire at the National Archives in 1973 destroyed most of what I sought.

The fact that, when he died in 2000, he had kept a September 1946 Newsweek article that referred to an October 1946 Ebony article about black soldiers in Berlin suggests that he was stationed in that city for a time.

The only other document I could find was his draft card, issued on his 18th birthday. Oddly, the person listed who would always know his address was not his mother but an aunt, Mrs. Mary Smith, whom I do not know, though I suspect she is a relative in his stepfather McKinley’s family.

Less Green would have been 97 tomorrow.

DNA Day is April 25

Your DNA Guide

According to Your DNA Guide and other sources, today is DNA Day. Their resident storyteller developed a framework for writing about 300 words. I’ll have a go at it with a previously shared tale.

The beginning of your story: What was your DNA question, or what were things like before your DNA discovery?

My sisters and I have known since we were children that the man we knew as our paternal grandfather, McKinley Green, was not the biological father of our dad, Leslie H. Green (1926-2000). I don’t think my father knew we knew.

We learned this info from our mom, Trudy, and HER mother, Gertrude Williams. Grandma Williams referred to vague details about a minister in Pennsylvania.

The middle of your story: What happened, or what did you learn? What did you think or feel about it? Then what happened?  

In 2018, I took my first genealogy tests. When I looked at my DNA matches, I discovered ten people were second cousins. The Yates, Walker, and Williams folks I recognized.

But who were the other four people? Three of them had trees, and two common people were on each, Carl Lorenzo Cone (b. 1915) and Raymond Cornelius Cone (b. circa 1888). But who was Raymond, and how did he meet my future grandmother, Agatha Walker (1902-1964)?

I wrote about this on my blog. On December 26, 2019, my dear friend Melanie discovered an article from January 1927 in a newspaper in my hometown of Binghamton, NY. The Reverend Raymond Cone was acquitted of impregnating Agatha and being the father of Les!

And then…

The end of your story: Where do things stand now? Why does this story matter to you?

By 1918, Raymond Cone’s first wife and father had both died, and he had a certificate to be a preacher. I followed his trek that brought him to Binghamton in the fall of 1925, departing two years later.

I have learned more about him than people I’ve known in person. He died of an apparent heart attack at his church in New York City in December 1947 before he turned 60. My Grandma  Green also died of a heart attack at 62. That’s sobering medical news for me.


Music: my mom and my dad

West Side Story

As part of my birthday month celebration, I’ve selected songs tied to a particular time and place, or occasionally multiple times and places, in my life. I associate these with my mom and my dad.

I wish I could find a recording of Be Kind To Your Parents that sounds like the pink vinyl we had growing up, possibly from Peter Pan Records. My sister Leslie and I would sing it to our parents, and I sang it to my daughter.  Here’s Florence Henderson singing it, not as perkily as I remember it.

I’ve noted my father’s vinyl collection growing up, music I listened to in our living room. Of all his singles, Forty-Five Men In A Telephone Booth by The Four Tophatters is the one I most loved. I bought a compilation album mainly for this one track. We listened on a brown squarish record player that played at 78, 45, and 33. To listen to the 45s, one had to put an adapter on the turntable.

My mother, sisters, and I went to see West Side Story in a second run, probably at the Riviera or Strand Theater on Chenango Street in Binghamton. My baby sister was young enough that the ticket seller questioned whether she should be allowed to see the movie. When I heard   Quintet, I thought, “I didn’t know you could have two competing melodies like that!”

My father owned an album by  Joan Baez, a “best of” from 1963(!). One of the songs the Green Family Singers performed was this version of So Soon In The Morning, which featured Bill Wood. Leslie and I sang it at my 50th birthday party. My friend Laura and I sang it at my former church in the 1990s.

What is he listening to?

My mother came home from the grocery store. I went to the car to help haul in the food. When I returned to the living room, the stereo, playing the eponymous Vanilla Fudge album, was turned off. My mom said, “The record player must be broken. The song kept getting louder!”  No, it was just the crescendo at the end of Take Me For A Little While, which retreated sonically in short order.

I was listening to the Tommy album by The Who. The last track, We’re Not Gonna Take It, was on. My father was in the room, reading the newspaper, I think. When he heard the lyrics, “We forsake you, Gonna rape you, Let’s forget you better still,” he peered over the paper with a look that said, “What IS that boy listening to?” But he said nothing.


Song of Scheherazade

cf. Rimsky-Korsakov

The Final JEOPARDY answer for Tuesday, January 10, 2023, was in the category CLASSIC TALE CHARACTERS. “In one 19th-century translation, she ‘perceived the dawn of day and ceased’ speaking nearly 1,000 times.”

To my mild surprise, no one got the correct answer. The contestants answered Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, and Echo.

I knew immediately it was Scheherazade, though I wasn’t positive I knew how to spell it. While I read a story about this Arabian Nights tale, my greater recollection was from the music, which is often the case with me.

Specifically, there is an album by a group called Renaissance. It put out an album called Scheherazade and Other Stories. The title track, Song of Scheherazade, which took up the entirety of Side 2 on the LP, ends with these lyrics:

Scheherazade bewitched him
With songs of jeweled kings
Princes and of heroes
And eastern fantasies

Told him tales of sultans
And talismans and rings
A thousand and one nights, she sang
To entertain her king
She sings, Scheherazade…

Natal day present

I had heard the album several times when I was in college at SUNY New Paltz. But I did not own it.

As I noted seven years ago, in the winter to spring of 1977, I had graduated from college. But adrift, I ended up crashing at my parents’ house in Charlotte, NC. I was pretty miserable, helping sell costume jewelry and other geegaws. (If I had used a word as sophisticated as “geegaws” at the craft fair, I would be chided for allegedly putting on airs.)

My family asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I requested that Renaissance album, and I received it. But it was clear when my father heard it, he didn’t think much of it, which merely fed into my melancholy.

After the JEOPARDY show last month, my wife reminded me how much her college friend Alison played that album in heavy rotation. This prompted me to buy the CD, which now came as a three-disc (2 CDs, 1 DVD) set.

The first time I came to the end of the album, I wept, partly from the beauty of Annie Haslam’s voice and maybe a little from a sad memory.

The classical side

This story reminded me of another piece of music titled Scheherazade, written in 1888 by  Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov. A 2007 NPR story by Scott Simon explained the power of music.

“For centuries, composers have tried to spin tales in music. My understanding of how important the concept could be was cemented by Leonard Bernstein when I went to a New York Philharmonic rehearsal. Bernstein raised his hands up and asked, ‘Do I have to tell you the story of this Haydn symphony?’

“These typically reserved musicians were practically jumping up and down, nodding their heads in anticipatory glee, like children at storytime. Bernstein was the consummate storyteller, often elaborating on or, dare I say, even fabricating some of the finer details for dramatic effect. But the memory was indelible for me, and the lesson was clear: It’s all about the story.”

Listen to:

Renaissance album

Renaissance side two

Several versions of the Rimsky-Korsakov

My dad did what? Said what?

labor relations and safety coordination

Les Green.age 5I’ve mentioned that I’ve been pouring over my 1972 diaries. Mostly, I’ve noted my foibles. But now and then, I say, “My dad did what?”

Tuesday, August 1: Premiere of Compendium on CV7 (I assume public access cable) at 10 pm. “Barbara and Dad were hosts.” Surely, Barbara was the very active Barbara Oldwine, who died in 2014. the topic was The Black Family. I have ZERO recollection of this.

Friday, August 4: In the presence of his friends John and April, who had come over for dinner, he announced he would run for mayor of Binghamton in 1973. Three young black men from Highland Falls, Orange County, came over. Nope, don’t remember that either. And since he had JUST moved to Johnson City, I don’t know HOW he could run. Ultimately, he did not.


One of my sisters suggested I look up to see if he ever made any overtures toward the political office. I searched for him on for 1972 and 1973. He was elected to a couple of boards involving the Broome County’s Red Cross and a group involved with housing for children.

He became the labor relations and compliance officer and safety coordinator for Edward L. Nezelek, Inc. around 9 Jan 1973.

Several articles about difficulties between the State Division of Human Rights and its Binghamton-Broome advisory committee, chaired by Les Green, were reported. By 17 March 1973, things were getting better. Dad was one of those “trusted voices” asked to comment on whatever racial tension occurring in Binghamton.

The house fire in August 1973 at 29 Ackley Avenue in Johnson City was reported. My sister Marcia’s name is misspelled as Marsha. The fire marshall said a “cigarette from an ashtray emptied into a trash basket next to the stove may have caused the fire.” There was damage to the kitchen, bathroom, attic, and roof.

No mention of political ambition. But what’s this? Here’s a classified ad for 28 July through 1 August 1973: “GOOD SLIGHTLY USED folk guitar, price negotiable.” He was going to sell his beloved 1958 Gibson guitar? THIS shocked me. As it turned out, he didn’t sell it but took it to Charlotte, NC, when he, mom, and Marcia moved, and it stayed with him until his death. My sister Leslie now owns it.

The picture

This is a picture of my father, approximately at age five, in Binghamton, NY, circa 1932. I had never seen the photo until February 2022. It is the earliest pic I have seen of him by about a decade. But I don’t know where it is except for the word Calvary. A church? A daycare?

There is a Calvary Baptist on Chenango St, which had a kids program. But what’s with the outfits? Christian service brigade and/or pioneer club? Binghamton history folks: do you have any thoughts? He was probably living at 339 Court St at the time; he was there two years earlier. Or he could have been at 10 Tudor St, off of Susquehanna St.

BTW, tomorrow, my father would have been 96.

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